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AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 47 (1963)

Issue: 7. (July)

First Page: 1294

Last Page: 1347

Title: Petroleum Exploration and Production in Europe in 1962

Author(s): Robert E. King (2)


Petroleum production in Western Europe increased 6.5% over 1961, to a rate of 332,600 b/d. Yugoslavia had the highest rate of increase, 16%, due to the development of fields in Croatia and Serbia. The only producing country showing a decline was Italy, where the Gela field still had not been put on full production. In the northeast Netherlands a gas discovery was made south of the Groningen gas field and a large outstep east of that field was completed as a producer. Following these developments it was announced that the probable reserves of the Groningen field were estimated at 12.25 trillion cu. ft. An agreement was made to grant the exploitation concession on Groningen province to a company in which the State coal mines would have a 40% interest and the government 10%. Stimulated by the large gas discoveries in the Lower Permian of the northeast Netherlands, active geophysical exploration commenced in the North Sea though jurisdiction over the sea was still unsettled among the bordering nations. Three wells were drilled off the coast of South Holland. In Austria a significant oil strike was made in Triassic dolomite below the productive Tertiary rocks of the Vienna basin. Two oil discoveries were made in the Molasse basin of Upper Austria. In France oil was discovered in porous Upper Jurassic sandstones at Cazaux and Lavergne, in the Aquitaine basin. A deep test in this basin was drilled to 18,083 ft. Elsewhere in France oil discoveries were of minor importance. In Germany the number of exploratory wells drilled continued to decline but the average dri ling depth increased. A new depth record for western Europe, 19,536 ft., was made by a Paleozoic test south of the Lower Saxony basin. An important oil discovery was made below 13,000 ft. in the Molasse basin of southern Bavaria, and another in east Holstein near Kiel. A significant Triassic gas find was made in the Lower Saxony basin. In Italy another gas discovery was made in the Adriatic Sea, but its significance was doubtful. Several unevaluated oil and gas-condensate discoveries were made in peninsular Italy. Apparently minor discoveries of oil and gas were made in England. An oil concession was granted over all of Denmark and over the southwest tip of Sweden. Exploratory drilling continued unsuccessfully in Greece, Spain, European Turkey, and Switzerland, and drilling was resumed i Portugal. The first exploratory wells were drilled in Ireland and Belgium. The most important developments of 1962 in the Soviet Union were the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in the Lower Cambrian in central Siberia and 3 additional oil fields in the Lower Cretaceous in the West Siberian lowland. A large gas discovery was made north of the Arctic Circle in the valley of the Taz River. Another large gas find was made in southern Uzbekistan.

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